Covering a box, bottle, or tube; making a bow. To gift wrap a box, center it top down on a sheet of decorative paper long enough to fit around the box, plus 2 inches of overlap, and wide enough to cover a little more than half the box depth on each side. Bring up one long edge of paper and tape it to the box. Fold under the remaining long side 1 inch and tape it. Stick short lengths of double-stick tape or small circles of regular transparent tape (sticky side out) along the folded edge. Pull this edge over the first one and press it securely in place.
Fold down one side and tape it to the box. Miter the two adjoining sides, then fold them toward the center, creasing the paper along the box edges; tape the two sides together at the bottom. Fold over the lower flap 1 inch; put double-stick tape or a circle of regular tape on the foldover. Bring the bottom flap up, pressing it in place. Repeat for the opposite side.
When a box is larger than a single length of gift wrap, splice two or more sheets together. Lay the sheets wrong side up, fold over two of the edges 1/2 inch, as shown, and slip them inside each other. Tape the seam.
* gift wrap ajar, bottle, similar item, use pliable paper such as tissue, foil, or colored cellophane; or use fabric and pink the edges to keep it from fraying. Cut two large squares and position them under the container. Bring both sheets together at the top of the container. Tie with ribbon or yarn. Separate the points; fluff them.
* wrap a soft gift without a box, back it first with a slightly larger piece of cardboard. An alternative is to roll the gift into a cylinder and slip it inside a cardboard tube. To wrap the tube, cut paper about 6 inches longer than the tube and 2 inches wider than its diameter. Wrap and tape the paper around the tube, as for a box. Tie ribbon or yarn at the tube ends.
* create a multiple-loop bow, wrap ribbon around your hand seven or eight times, loosely for a large bow,
tightly for a small one. Tape both ends at the center. Cut four small wedges from the loops, then bring the cut portions to the center. Tie a narrow piece of matching ribbon tightly around the center. Remove the tape. One at a time, pull the loops out and toward the center on alternate sides. Fluff and shape the bow. Tape it to the gift.